Brussels, November 21: Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has described the current situation in Gaza as a result of a decade-long global political and moral failure. In an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Borrell emphasized the high price being paid by Israelis and Palestinians due to this failure.
According to Jordan News Agency, the international community’s commitment to a two-state solution has lacked a concrete roadmap for effective realization. He mentioned the Abraham Accord as a factor that led many to overlook the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, stating that the recent war dispelled this illusion. Borrell stressed the need for ending the cycle of violence and urged Israel to exercise maximum restraint to minimize civilian casualties, specifically mentioning the importance of avoiding bombing civilian facilities. He criticized the conditions in besieged Gaza, including the cutting off of food, water, electricity, and fuel, as unacceptable.
Borrell highlighted the EU’s increased humanitarian aid to Gaza, which has been quadrupled to 100 million euros, and the establishment of an air bridge to Rafah, Egypt, for delivering urgently needed products. He acknowledged differences in viewpoints among EU member states regarding the Israeli war on Gaza, citing the union’s diverse history. Despite these differences, there is a consensus on the need to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza and to restart the political process for a two-state solution.
On the EU’s stance regarding Israel’s targeting of hospitals and UNRWA schools, Borrell admitted the need for better communication about the EU’s actions and statements. He recalled a recent EU statement emphasizing the protection of hospitals, medical supplies, and civilians. He also mentioned incidents where Israeli warplanes struck a Jordanian field hospital, injuring seven staff members.
Discussing the potential involvement of Arab countries in Gaza post-war, Borrell expressed his ideas for Gaza’s future, opposing forced displacement of the population, territorial amputation, reoccupation by Israel, or a return of Hamas governance. He advocated for the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza under conditions set by a UN Security Council Resolution, emphasizing the need for support during a transitional period and the involvement of Arab states trusted by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Borrell stressed that any involvement should be part of a clear path towards a sovereign Palestinian state.
Furthermore, Borrell mentioned the EU’s efforts in supporting humanitarian pauses and corridors for evacuation, and a Cypriot proposal for a maritime corridor. He outlined the EU’s substantial financial support to Jordan, including grants, loans, and assistance in various sectors and in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. He underscored the importance of the Aqaba-Amman water conveyor project for Jordan’s future water security, a key aspect of EU-Jordan cooperation.
Borrell concluded by reiterating the EU’s political and financial support for UNRWA, highlighting its crucial role in assisting Palestinian refugees in Gaza and the region, particularly in Jordan.